13 December 2015

T H I R T Y O N E

My birthday was absolutely incredible this year. Seriously one of the best ones I have ever had. It started off Friday night... my parent's threw me a little shindig with my family (Alex's too) and friends. We all had a fantastic time listening to 80's & 90's music and watching Christmas Vacation. Alex made some deliciously spicy prosciutto-wrapped jalapeno poppers and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. Mom kicked ass with her baked ziti and bruschetta. Alex's mom even made an scrumptious cheese ball. I also received some truly thoughtful and amazing gifts from everyone who came! (If you're reading this, thank you.) The party was great, but Saturday was the greatest...
My Thirty-First Birthday
Saturday (my actual birthday) was sheer perfection thanks to Alex. He had the whole day planned and I can't imagine a better birthday than one spent with that man by my side. We headed to Tampa for the day and started in Hyde Park. Our first stop was SOHO Donuts where I had a yummy vanilla doughnut topped with Berry Cap'n Crunch. Next on our list was Oxford Exchange for some much needed caffeine; where Alex & I lounged on their cozy leather couch before heading over to the mall.
My Thirty-First Birthday

My Thirty-First Birthday
Then we were mallrats for an hour or two. Which was actually great because we ended up finding some Funko Pop dolls. Well, I guess you need a little back story, huh? Amongst the birthday gifts that Alex gave me (which included an annotated hardcover of Sandman comics and a collection of Gaiman's "Death" comics) he also gave me X-File's Mulder AND Scully Funko Pop dolls. Originally he wanted to get me the whole set, but he was having a hard time locating the alien. Oddly enough, after stopping into Hot Topic for me to find him a Deadpool item, we noticed the giant wall of Pop dolls. Much to our chagrin, there was an X-Files alien starring us in the face! After some scavenging, Alex managed to find the Smoking Man too. I am now a proud owner of a complete X-Files set! Afterwards. we had a celebratory lunch of buttermilk chicken with smoked gouda mac & cheese at the Pub.
Alex then surprised me with ice skating! I've been wanting to go ice skating for YEARS and he made my dream come true. I had so much fun too and I didn't fall either! I was terrified at first but after holding onto Alex for a little bit (and switching to a smaller skate size) I was fine. You can check out a short video of me ice skating here. I still can't get over how sweet Alex is for making this silly, little dream of mine come true. It was an absolute rush skating around that rink. The feeling of flying and being in control and not in control at the same time was the best. I even enjoyed watching Alex skate - he's a pro!
After ice skating for almost two hours, we hung out in downtown Tampa for a bit and imbibed in more coffee and mango iced tea thanks to a Buddy Brew food truck. We strolled around Riverwalk and surveyed the area - including a nice view of my favourite architecture at the University of Tampa. If that doesn't remind you of Russia (sans blue skies) I don't know what to tell you.

We had a little extra time to kill before dinner so I suggested we headed over to Davis Island. We found a perfect little picnic table under a tree. We sat and overlooked the water and talked about love and happiness. Alex even drew our initials inside a heart onto the wooden table. It was one of my favourite moments that day because I was able to slow down and reflect on how incredible Alex is and how much fun I had. The best part was knowing that the day wasn't even over yet.

After leaving Davis Island (and a quick outfit change for me) we stopped by Green Shift Music & Comic Book store and browsed around a bit. Then we headed to dinner at Ella's American Folk Art Cafe. This was my second time here (Alex & I went back in September after Comicon) and as always, the food was to die for. We sat outside and enjoyed the cool night air. As for the food, we started off with some mustard & siracha potato wedges and shared a giant calzone stuffed with tenderloin (which half of it is still sitting in the fridge) and ahi tuna tacos with fried wonton shells.
I really feel as though I have won the person lottery with this man, you guys. He is the sweetest, most thoughtful man. He made my birthday beyond special. I'm still pretty hyped up from all of the fun we had! Hence the 6AM blog post.... Honestly though, getting to spend the whole day with Alex was the icing on the birthday cake. Thank you Alex, for making my thirty-first birthday a day that I will never forget!

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